Timeless Tales from the Hakawati project
The Hakawati project was launched on the 1st of January 2014 by the Cultural Heritage without Borders association (CHwB), with support from the Swedish Postcode Lottery. The project is based on collaboration between CHwB and Hakaya network represented by the Arab Education Forum (Jordan), The Arab Resource Collective for Popular Arts – Al Jana (Lebanon), and Al Balad theatre (Jordan), and in association with Fabula for storytelling (Sweden). The book launch in Jordan will be followed by a series of storytelling events by storytellers Nemer Salamun, Sahalabiyyeh al Hakawatiyyeh, the Abu Saleem Brothers and Shereen Zoumot at the Collateral Repair Project center in Hashimi Al Shamali and in Syrian refugee camps in cooperation with UNICEF.
The aim of this project is to contribute to the preservation of one of Syria’s intangible cultural heritages, the tradition of oral storytelling as a common denominator for solidarity across ethnic, geographic, and religious boundaries. The basic idea of the project is to capture traditional stories and publish them in a bilingual (Arabic -English) anthology that will be distributed as widely as possible in Sweden and in the MENA region, and to produce and organize tours for performances based on these stories.
This anthology is not only meant to archive these stories, but give them a second life to be read and told by the new generations of Syrians wherever they are, as well as introduce the world to these exciting folk tales. They have been produced in Classical and colloquial Arabic, and they were also recorded by two renowned Syrian storytellers/actors: Nimer Salamun and May Skaff. The anthology will be distributed as widely as possible in Sweden and in the MENA region, and will be accompanied by storytelling performances organized by Fabula storytelling in Sweden, Al Balad theatre in Jordan, and Al Jana in Lebanon.
The performances will ensure that these stories continue to live on in the hearts, minds and traditions of Syrians, host populations in the region and elsewhere in the world.
You can listen to the Timeless Tales stories via Sound Cloud here